Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Women's work is never done!

Freedom’s Champion [Atchison, Kansas] Saturday, March 15, 1862

          KITCHEN MEMORANDA.—Potatoes to be washed—meat to be put to soak—lamps to fill—knives to scour—furniture to be dusted—silver to be polished—front entry to be washed—beds to be made—apples to pare—flour to sift—shirts to be ironed—dishes to be washed—beets to be cleaned—carpets to be swept—fires to be tended—dinner to get—pig to be fed—pudding to be made—a runt to the store—front door to tend—children to be waited on—baby’s frock to be washed—stockings to be darned—buttons to be sewed on the shirts—shirts to be done up—tea to get—griddle cakes—dough nuts—custards—ginger-bread—preserves—dishes to clear away—company—evening meetings—bed time.
         What merchant, politician, or president has a longer list of daily avocations than the good wife; and yet how little they are considered. The hard and constant fatigue of the mother should elicit a deeper sympathy and a more strenuous effort to lessen her burden. 

Daily Evening Bulletin [San Francisco, CA] Friday, May 8, 1863

RULES OF HEALTH FOR MARRIED LADIES.—Here is some advice which married ladies can bet high on:

            Get up at three o’clock in the morning, clean out the stoves, take up the ashes, sweep the front sidewalk, and scrub the front steps, nurse the baby, put things to warm, see the shirt aired, broil the mackerel, settle the coffee, set the table, rouse the house, carry up some hot water for shaving to that brute of a lazy husband, and dry the morning paper. By this time you will have an appetite for breakfast. Hold the baby during the meal, as you like your breakfast cold. 

            After breakfast, wash the dishes, nurse the baby, dust everything, wash the windows, wash and dress the baby—(that pantry wants cleaning out and scrubbing)—nurse the baby, draw the baby in his wagon five or six miles for the benefit of his health: nurse him when you return;  put on the potatoes and the cabbage (nurse the baby) sweep everything; take up the dinner, set the table, fill the castors, change the table cloth, (there’s that baby wants nursing.) Eat your dinner cold again, and—nurse the baby.

            After dinner, wash the dishes, gather up all the dirty clothes and put them to soak, nurse baby every half hour; receive a dozen calls, interspersed with nursing the baby; drag the baby a mile or two; hurry home; make biscuits, pick up some codfish, cut some dried beef, Catnip tea for baby’s internal disarrangements: hold the baby and hour or two to quiet him; put some alcohol in the meter; baby a specimen of perpetual motion: tea ready; take your cold, as usual. 

            After tea, wash up the dishes; put some fish to soak; chop some hash; send for more sugar, (gracious how the sugar does go—and 20 cents a pound,) get down the stockings and darn them: (keep on nursing the baby;) wait up till 12 o’clock nursing the baby, till husband comes with a double shuffle on the front steps, a decided difficulty in finding the stairway, and determination to sleep in the backyard. Drag him up stairs to bed: then nurse the baby and go to sleep.

            Women in delicate health will find that the above practice will either kill or cure them.

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